Some creativity needed to revive local football

The state of local football has reached such an appalling state that having the LionsXII booted out of Malaysia may not be a bad thing ("S'pore out of Malaysian league, leaving LionsXII in limbo"; Nov 26).

However, absorbing the players back into the S-League may not be the best solution ("LionsXII players to join S-League"; Dec 5).

The S-League has not been able to draw in the crowds because people do not have a strong affinity with the clubs.

It is time for the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to think differently, to revive interest in local football and create a new footballing culture.

With so many multinational companies operating here, Singapore is well placed to start a World Business Football League ("LionsXII can lend star power to S-League" by Mr George Pasqual; last Saturday).

Each country's business community operating in Singapore could be invited to send or sponsor its own team to compete in the league.

For example, the British, German, French and Japanese business associations could send their respective teams to don their national colours.

Some major corporations, such as Allianz and AIA, which are major sponsors of football, may also wish to send their own teams to compete in the league.

Singapore can be represented by our LionsXII.

With national pride and honour at stake, competition will be intense and businesses will be willing to sponsor clubs representing their countries.

The teams will want to send their best players, including some from their home countries.

It will raise the quality of the game here in Singapore, as we will be competing with some of the best from around the world.

Fans will be more willing to support the games as they will have an international flavour to them.

I hope the FAS will do something creative to revive local football and move it from kampung standards to international standards.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2015, with the headline 'Some creativity needed to revive local football'. Print Edition | Subscribe